It certainly would be a thrill for small town golfers to play alongside some the game’s finest including Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Fred Couples and Anthony Kim.
As far-fetched as the idea sounds, it’s exactly what members of the Payson Men’s Golf Association did — in fantasy — during a “low net plus chosen Masters players” four-round tournament held April 7 at Payson Golf Course.
In low net scoring by flights, each member’s final tally was calculated by adding his card to the one posted by the chosen Masters player.
Ed Quigley chose Mickelson as his partner and together (66/338) the pair claimed gold in the first flight.
Frank Szakal also chose Mickelson for a 65/341 to take second in the flight.
Steve Vincent picked Woods to post a 65/342 and finish third.
In fourth were Tony Mularski and Anthony Kim at 67/343.
Trailing the four leaders were Alex Armenta and Woods, Ralph Lindo and Woods, Don Gyde and Couples and Al Lyons and Woods.
Somewhat ironically, one of the best scores of the tournament was Gary Rovetto’s 65. He, however, chose Louis Oosteivizen as his Masters partner. Since Oosteivizen didn’t make the Masters cut, Rovetto was a PMGA also ran.
Due to course maintenance on the front nine holes, the tournament was contested twice over the back nine holes with the first round played from the red tees and the second off the white tees.
Closest on the day was a shot from Steve Vincent that was just 4 feet, 9 inches from the flag on No. 17. On hole No. 14’s red tee, Ed Flores won with a leave of 9 feet, 7 inches. Ken Althoff pocketed prize money on No. 14’s white tee with a lay of 16 feet, 6 inches. On No. 17’s white tee, Ralph Lindo’s shot rolled to within 7 feet, 5 inches of an ace.
The PMGA returns to action April 21 in an interclub low net match vs. Verde Santa Fe at PGC.